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Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 review incl. SLI: Kepler for £179

A great card for gaming on Full HD resolution

The GeForce GTX 660 appears to be a great graphics card for gaming on Full HD resolution. Until recently you had to spend £239 to be able to do that, and now it's less than £200. We did notice that with the highest settings, the GTX 660 was at times a little more sluggish than the faster GTX 660 Ti. You could scale down the settings somewhat, or spend a little more and get the GeForce GTX 660 Ti or Radeon HD 7950. See also: Six GeForce GTX 660 Ti graphics cards: ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotac.

Less than a month ago Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, making the new Kepler architecture available for around £239. Today the GeForce 600 series arrived, with a pricetag of £179. Nvidia is positioning the Geforce GTX 660 directly against the AMD Radeon HD 7870. Hardware.Info tested the GTX 660 to find out how well it performs as a single card and also in SLI.

With a name like GeForce GTX 660 you almost expect it to be a less powerful version of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, but that's not at all the case. The GTX 660 Ti was based on the same GK108 GPU that was used for the GeForce GTX 680 and 670, except that the number of cores was reduced from 1,536 to 1344 and the memory bandwidth was lowered from 256-bit to 192-bit.

The GTX 660 (without the Ti suffix) is based on a new GPU called the GK106. It has 2.54 billion transistors, making it 30 percent smaller and therefore cheaper to produce. In terms of processing power the GK106 is 5/8 as powerful as the GK108. The GK106 has a 192-bit GDDR5 memory controller.

Both ASUS and Zotac provided a GeForce GTX 660 card for this review. Zotac's card is a standard version of the GeForce GTX 660, and will also carry a price of £179. Zotac did replace the standard Nvidia cooler, and instead used one with a large aluminium heatsink with two heatpipes and two orange fans. The PCB is the same as Nvidia's reference card. Zotac did increase the standard clock frequency from 980 MHz to 993 MHz, and the boost frequency from 1033 MHz to 1059 MHz. The memory clock frequency remains unchanged.

ASUS sent in its DirectCU II Top version of the GTX 660, called the GTX660-DC2T-2GD5. "Top" indicates that the card is overclocked, and the ASUS card running at 1072 MHz is 9.3-percent faster than the standard Nvidia card. The memory clock frequency is raised to 1527 MHz. The card is equipped with an ASUS DirectCU II cooler, with three thick heatpipes and two fans. The red and black colour scheme fits with the ASUS' gaming motherboards.

The GeForce GTX 660 appears to be a great card for gaming on Full HD resolution. Until recently you had to spend £239 to be able to do that, and now it's less than £200. We did notice that with the highest settings, the GTX 660 was at times a little more sluggish than the faster GTX 660 Ti. You could scale down the settings somewhat, or spend a little more and get the GeForce GTX 660 Ti or Radeon HD 7950.

To find out which GTX 660 is the fastest one, and how they compare to the AMD Radeon HD 7870, read the full review on Hardware.Info.

nVidia GeForce GTX 660

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